YOGYAKARTA – Who would have guessed that the daughter of an underpriviledged seller of traditional rice flour cakes from Salatiga will soon make her dreams come true and become a dentist? Currently, Setianingsih, 22, is taking her dentist professional education or co-assistance at Faculty of Dentistry at UGM. “The first 8 months had passed, I will have to study for the remaining 7 months,” said the youngest of seven siblings at the Faculty on Friday (27/6).
Initially, the daughter of Masykuri and Painem was accepted through the Talent Scouting for the Underpriviledged People programme of UGM year 2009. Those who get selected will be exempted from tuitions until they graduate. Ning (her nickname) was able to complete her Dentistry undergraduate programme in 3 years and 10 months.
Ning said that the earnings of her parents did not suffice to meet their daily demands. Her father, 74, is a farmer while her mother sells the traditional rice flour cakes at a Salatiga market. For her daily needs and rents, her siblings supported her. Ning did not want to put more burden on her parents. She said three of the older siblings had graduated from college and one a Diploma.
The perseverance of both her parents in sending their children to school encouraged her to do her best for them. Ning always remembers her dad’s words not to worry about money and continue studying.
At one time, her father had difficulties in paying for a tuition. Some coconut trees had to be chopped down and sold to make do for that. “We often borrowed money from our neighbours, too,” she confessed.
Despite the hardship in economy, Ning and her siblings always made good achievements at school and often received scholarships. Almost all of them also do part-time job. “While studying, I give courses to children three times a week,” she said.
Ning said she was fortunate to study for free at UGM as this helped her parents substantially. Her father now spends more time at home while her mother, 64, still sells the cakes. “When I’m home, I often help her make the cakes,” said Ning who wants to be a specialist in dentistry.